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Rodrygo and Real Madrid Roll | Champions League Matchday 4: Wednesday Recap

Wednesday’s action kicked off in Munich, where Hansi Flick was in charge of his first game at Bayern. It was an important game for Bayern against Olympiacos. The Bavarians wanted to qualify for the next round but also set the stage for the Klassiker against Dortmund, which will take place on Saturday. With Alphonso Davies in the lineup, the Canadian making his Champions League debut, Bayern were dominant from the first minute. But it took until the 69th minute for Robert Lewandowski to finally score. It was his 21st goal in his 17th game. With just a minute to go, Ivan Perišić rounded up a dominant Bayern performance.
 

Even a draw would have been enough for Bayern in retrospect. Over in Belgrade, Tottenham took Crvena zvezda to the sword in an impressive 4-0 victory. The North London side has struggled to start the season and were buried 7-2 at home by Bayern. With seven points out of four UCL games, Spurs can now plan for the next round.

 
The second early kickoff on Wednesday saw Juventus beat Lokomotiv Moscow 2-1 in Russia. Aaron Ramsey scored in the fourth minute. Juve then had their lead equalized when Aleksey Miranchuk scored in the 12thminute. The Russians looked like they would take away a point but were shocked late when Douglas Costa scored the winner for Juventus in the 93rd minute.
 
That left the door open for Bayer Leverkusen to close the gap to third-placed Lokomotiv Moscow in Group E. The Germans had lost their first three games in the Champions League but surprised Atlético de Madrid on Wednesday. Thomas Partey’s own goal four minutes shy of halftime and Kevin Volland’s goal in the 55th minute paved the way for a Bayer victory. Even a red card to Nadiem Amiri and a last-minute goal by Álvaro Morata, (who has now scored in five of his last six games) could not overturn the result.
 

 
Real Madrid, in the meantime, have pushed the door to the Round of 16 wide open. Los Blancos smashed Galatasaray 6-0. Karim Benzema scored two, Rodrygo added a perfect hat trick - Marcelo providing his fellow Brazilian with two assists in the first seven minutes, and Sergio Ramos got on the scoresheet as well. The game was more or less wrapped up in the first 14 minutes when Ramos put away the penalty to make it 3-0.
 
Real are now five points clear of Brugge, who lost 1-0 to Paris Saint-Germain. The French showed no signs of distractions after their head coach was linked with the Bayern Munich job. Thomas Tuchel has emphatically denied any interest in trading the Eiffel Tower for Oktoberfest. And why would he? His PSG side is flying.
 

Over in Italy, Atalanta hosted Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s teams are usually dominant in the group stage, but dropped two points today. City looked like they were on their way when Raheem Sterling scored in the 7th minute. Gabriel Jesus then missed a penalty in the 43rd minute, paving the way for Atlanta to get back into the game. Mario Pasalić scored the equalizer in the 49th minute to make it 2-1, but the real drama was yet to begin. City goalkeeper Ederson was subbed off after the intermission with an apparent injury. Claudio Bravo came on to replace Ederson, but ended up getting himself sent off with nine minutes to go, forcing Kyle Walker to don the goalkeeper gloves and kit. The right-wingback-turned-central-defender-turned-goalkeeper showed composure between the sticks, making one save - more than Ederson and Bravo combined - and the match ended 1-1.
 


 

It might be too little too late for Atalanta to stay alive in the Europa League race. Because in Zagreb, Dinamo gave away a 3-1 lead in the most dramatic fashion to draw 3-3 against Shakhtar Donetsk. Alan Patrick had scored early for the Ukrainians. Dinamo came back, however, and were up 3-1 in the 89th minute. But a goal by Junior Moraes in the 93rdminute gave Shakhtar one last throw of the dice. Shakhtar keeper Andriy Pyatov, who had joined the attack to force an equalizer, was brought down with an elbow inside the penalty box, a lengthy VAR review followed that resulted in Shakhtar being awarded a penalty. Tete stepped up and scored the 98th-minute equalizer to cap off an exciting UCL matchday.

 
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